Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quinoa Pudding w/ Strawberries

Has quinoa become the next big thing? I kept hearing more and more things about it. Curiosity finally got the best of me and I decided to get a cup at Top which happens to have a super bulk food section. Then the quinoa proceeded to sit in my pantry for 2 months.

Normally, I don't associate quinoa as a sweet dish. I've only ever seen it prepared as a savory side dish so of course, nothing would motivate me more than hearing about some creamy dessert w/ quinoa.

Isn't it pretty? You can cook it up like rice too - 1:2 ratio. I cooked it in the rice cooker and it came out beautifully.

For this, you'll need 1 c. quinoa.

Then the good stuff. 1 c. heavy cream.

Add that to 3 cups of milk. I used 2%. In fact, I always use 2% milk when cooking and baking.

Whisk together and bring to a simmer.

While that's coming up to temperature, get your vanilla bean and split & scrape the pod.

With the back of the knife, folks. Don't learn the hard way like me.

Mix them into the milk mixture. Throw the emptied pod in there too for good measure.
Then some of the sweet stuff. Just a 1/4 c.

Then take your 1 c. strawberries and slice.
And add about 1 tbsp. sugar, mix. Let them start getting all yummy.
Macerating. That's the technical term for it. Thank you Food Network.
When the cream mixture comes to a simmer, whisk in your quinoa.

Now be patient. This stuff needs to lightly simmer for about 30 minutes.
And you need to stir occasionally.
Look at those pretty vanilla bean seeds. I love them.
After about 30 minutes, your strawberries will have made this lovely syrup.

30 minutes later, you'll get a tapioca like result. Only more healthy than tapioca. I imagine there's a good amount of protein in quinoa compared to tapioca.
Fish out your pod. Nobody wants to eat that.

Portion into 5-6 half cup portions. Sprinkle w/ macerated strawberries.
Quinoa Pudding with Strawberries

I had to try this recipe from this awesome blog
Hope you try it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I have a hard time buying foods I know how to make. I'm just cheap that way. The girls at work are forever eating hummus and I'm always mentally commenting, "Ooh, hummus. That sounds good." But then I never make it. I'm also lazy that way.

I'm also a strong believer in putting better ingredients into foods so I'm not eating all that processed crap. Don't get me wrong, I still love processed food (Doritos will be in heaven if I get there), I just want to eat less and less of it in our diet. Lord help me when this summer rolls around though. I'm planning on making my own ice cream.

I forgot to include the e.v. olive oil in the photo. Whoopsie.
Some people use that liquid in the dip. I don't know, I just don't like the thick consistency or something.
And I've rinsed these before and this foamy stuff always appears...just unappetizing to me.
There. Much better.
Dump into the food processor. Do you see that little green thing out of focus? I don't know what it was. Probably an unripened bean or something. And that's why you rinse.

Costco sells these big jars of fire roasted red peppers. Yes!

Some tahini, gotta have it for hummus.

I just chop the garlic clove into some smaller pieces, just to give the food processor a head start.
Salt & pepper.
Then I was wondering why it was so thick & it wouldn't blend.
Duh, I forgot the olive oil.
There we go.
Now we're getting there.
Now scrape down the sides.
Preferably w/ your customized spatula. Tien rocks.
Adjust for seasoning. Pulse to blend.
I like to put it in a jar and cover w/ a little olive oil.
So pretty. Enjoy!
All I had was tortilla chips but normally I'd eat w/ pita.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

makes about 1.5 cups of hummus

1 10 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
1 large roasted red pepper
1 1/2 tsp. tahini
1/4 c. lemon juice (the juice of about 1 lemon)
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 clove garlic

Rinse beans until the foam disappears. Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Enjoy w/ veggies or pita chips as a dip.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

Are you sick of me blogging about how much I love Barefoot Contessa? Gabe always tells me if I love her so much I should just marry her. Too late for BC, honey - I already married you. Besides, you're waaaaaay cuter. ;)

Her food is just so..awesome. This super simple Indonesian Ginger Chicken is SO GOOD. A great prescription for my chicken hoarding problem. I hoard whole chickens when the price dips to anywhere around $0.70/lb. Hoard, friends. Just stick them in the freezer. I wish I had an extra freezer but I have no room for it. Therefore I can only hoard 2 or 3 max since my freezer elicits gasps of horror from my sister-in-law and mother at the sight of how gorged it is w/ food. I'm getting better.

Tell me you don't want to eat this for dinner:

Told you.

Let's begin.
I've been on a ginger kick lately too. Ginger is really good for inflammation and I have rheumatoid arthritis, so it's supposed to help.
Tip: I've said it before folks, peel and freeze your ginger. It grates up so nicely straight out of the freezer. Like ginger snow. Super finely grated ginger. And you don't waste a bit if you peel with a spoon. It just barely scrapes the paper thin skin off the ginger. Double bag it and it lasts in the freezer forever.
Dump the honey in a saucepan.
Soy sauce to follow.

Ginger, grated on a microplane.
Lots of garlic.
All the kids get dumped in the pool.
Bring to simmer, take off the heat.
Let cool.
Meanwhile, get the chickens butchered.
Set yourself up for success here. Have your sheet pan nearby and your meat cutting board ready to put into the dishwasher.
Remove the neck bones, liver and/or gizzards. Lisa loves that part. Then cut the backbone out. Just use the little chicken butt as a guide to cut about a 1" wide spine out of the chicken.
Use some heavy duty kitchen scissors if your knife isn't working.
I leave the thigh and drums together as well as the breast and wing. Big big meaty pieces.
Then take your cooled marinade and dump it on the chicken. Skin side down.
I made the mistake of not lifting the pieces up so the marinade could get underneath the chicken.
Get it all over the chicken. I'm an equal opportunity marinader.

This sauce smells awesome.
Everyone happy?Happy.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
This is what they look like after a little sleepover in the marinade.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put this thing in the oven (foil on please).
After 30 minutes, you're going to remove the foil and it'll look like this. Freaky 1/2 cooked chicken. Calm thyself.
Flip it over so the skin side faces up. Now crank up the heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes.
Then you'll get this.
Glorious golden sweet gingery garlic goodness.
Leftovers were amazing. I ate both hot and cold. Both awesome.
I loved the charred pieces.
That skin. Awesome.
BC's Indonesian Ginger Chicken

a direct recreation from this Barefoot Contessa recipe

makes 6-8 servings

1 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
1/4 cup minced garlic (I just put a full head of garlic)
1/2 cup peeled and grated ginger root
2 (3-4 lb) chickens, quartered, backbones removed

Put the honey, soy, garlic & ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Immediately after it comes to a boil, remove from the heat, let cool.

Butcher your chicken into eight large pieces. No sissy pieces here, friends. Put the chicken skin side down on a baking sheet - something w/ sides, I used my trusty half sheet pans.

Pour the cooled marinade over all the chicken, slather. Make sure the skin side is down but the marinade gets all underneath as well. After all the chicken is coated, cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When heated, put chicken (still covered with foil) into oven and bake for 30 minutes. The chicken will look half cooked, it is. Don't worry. Flip everyone over so skin side is up and turn oven up to 375 degrees. Bake for another 30 minutes until skin is nice and golden. Some of the little wing tips may be a little charred, delish! To check for doneness make sure all the joints don't have any blood and there isn't anymore pink flesh.